Safety First

I left the beach about thirty minutes after sunset and started my anticipated adventurous walk to my car in the dark. I considered turning on the flashlight, but really wanted to practice using my eyes and ears, and feeling my footing without much visual aid.

As I started walking by the railroad tracks (photo taken earlier in the day), I heard the crunch of footsteps stepping on the rocks behind me. I turned to see the man I had passed at the bus stop walking toward me.

Before he got any closer, I asked him what he wanted in a loud and firm voice. When he didn’t stop walking toward me like I expected, I put my hand inside my pocket where I had my weapon.

He got as close as two steps away from me and said, with a slight slur to his voice, that he was checking if I was okay, if I was intending to harm myself since I was walking by the railroad tracks.

He was easily at least six feet tall and had a solid frame. He walked with a slight hunch as if to not be as visible. His voiced concern could have been real, but considering the circumstances, I decided to side with caution.

I contemplated showing my weapon thinking it could prevent possible further aggression he may have been considering. I decided against it as he could have had one also and that could have unnecessarily escalated the situation. Besides, I didn’t want to lose my element of surprise in case I needed it.

As I calmly took two steps back looking at him square in his eyes and watching for any committed, sudden, aggressive movement, I replied in the same loud and firm voice that I was fine. He kept trying to talk to me more and I replied again in my loud and firm voice that I was fine and I didn’t care for company.

He finally started walking away saying he was just checking. Immediate danger seemingly going away, I then felt a smidge guilty, so I said thank you anyway and have a nice evening. Still in a loud and firm voice, but kind.

To which he replied, “Would you like to take a walk with me to Swami’s?”

Sigh…20150124_135928

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One thought on “Safety First

  1. A friend’s comment on my fb post last night: “I do wish people realized that those tracks are the second busiest railroad corridor in the United States. My husband responds to an untold number of trespasser fatalities every year for the railroad. Some are suicides but others are just a lack of awareness that a 70-90 mph train can sneak up on you pretty fast and if it’s cab car forward instead of the locomotive, you are not even going to hear it coming. PLEASE be safe and stay away from those tracks.”

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